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Unidirectional Technology Adoption? April 13, 2007

Posted by David Card in Digital Home & Personal Tech.

We’ve just posted a report on teen technology adoption that showed a fascinating pattern. Our surveys show that older teens adopt new technologies first, but younger teens quickly follow.

What’s intriguing about this is that the reverse pattern does not hold for adults. Young adults, ages 18-24, are the heaviest users of new technologies and Internet communications media — they’re even earlier adopters than teens. But in most cases, that usage gap doesn’t really close for older adults, even though the younger ones eventually age into the older categories.

Of course, generational changes really do take a generation — 20 years or so — to play out. But the rapid dispersal of adoption appears to be one-way.

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